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What to know about Association fees

What you need to know about HOA Fees in SWFL

Lots of association fees in Southwest Florida. What do you need to know?

Odds are you’ve started looking at homes in Southwest Florida and you’ve quickly discovered that it’s not just about the price point of your new home that matters. You’ve likely learned the homeowner association fees are just as important when it comes to budgeting the price of your new place. So let’s dig in and discuss what they are, and what you need to know. 

Watch our video on Homeowner Association Fees

What are homeowner association fees? 

Also knows as H.O.A. fees are fees that go towards running the community. If you are looking at condos, they may be referred to as Condo fees. These fees can go towards numerous items within the community. They can be used towards everything from trash removal, water, cable to insurance on buildings, property management, lawn/land maintenance, and pest control. Just to name a few. It can, also, cover things like golf or tennis. The more amenities offered by a community the more likely the fees will be higher. 

These H.O.A./Condo fees are typically broken down into a payment plan. Many times they are paid quarterly, but sometimes it’s monthly. It’s important to find out the schedule. When you start searching for a home plan on how much you would be comfortable paying annually towards these fees. As your REALTOR we can do a search based on how much you want to spend each year. 

How much can you expect to spend on these fees in SWFL?

That’s the million-dollar question. As we discussed earlier it depends a lot on the amenities offered within the community. In Southwest Florida, many of our residents are here to enjoy recreation such as golf. Especially in areas like Naples. Communities that offer golf typically start between ten thousand and twelve thousand dollars a year and go up. These neighborhoods are known as ‘golf bundled’ which means the golf is included in the fees you pay annually. Typically, they are mandatory fees. So if you don’t play golf, these communities may not be for you. The fees can go higher from there depending on what type of memberships they offer and what additional amenities they may have in the community. Yes, you can see some community fees to be well over $50,000 a year. So be sure to ask how much those association fees are going to be. 

Can you find a place without HOA fees?

Of course. Many areas of Cape Coral do not have any type of homeowner association fees, along with Fort Myers. In Naples, there are a few areas that are H.O.A. free, such as Golden Gate Estates, but for the most part, you are going to see some kind of fee when you are home shopping in Naples. We usually tell our customers the least you will see for community fees is around $3000 to $5000 a year. These communities are still very nice, they are typically gated, have a community pool and/or tennis courts. 

On the flip side, you probably won’t find a condo that doesn’t have some type of fee attached to the community. This applies to townhouses and villas as well. Condo fees, also, will vary greatly depending on amenities and what is covered. 

What should I ask about when it comes to these fees?

You will want to find out what the fees cover first and foremost. Many people get squeamish about paying association fees, but if you look at what they cover you may find it’s really not a bad deal. They can cover things, such as your lawn and land maintenance (no more cutting the grass), the pest control for the home, trash removal, water, and we are even seeing many communities now covering basic cable and internet. This can be a great deal especially if you are looking for a maintenance-free lifestyle. 

Is there anything else I might need to know about fees?

Beware! There can be more than one association fee for a community. Especially if you’re in a condo association. You may have the condo association fee, the homeowner’s association fee, and the master association fee. Yep, that’s three sets of fees. This can, also, happen with single-family homes as well. So you want to double-check how many sets of fees there are for the community. There may, also, be one-time joining the community fees, which can range from a simple $50 to thousands of dollars. 

One more word of advice as you search for your dream home and you come across these fees. Not all the consumer websites out there will disclose them, so you may not see them when you are searching. (Sites that rhyme with pillow) But don’t worry. We can set you up with all your criteria when we do a search for your home. You can tell us exactly how much you are comfortable paying in association fees and we can make sure every home that comes to your inbox fits your budget. All you have to do is reach out to us. Sign up on our website: Do you have more questions? No problem email us and we will be happy to answer them for your 

Sue “Pinky” and Josh Benson are full-time, top producing agents with RE/MAX Affinity Plus. Josh grew up in Naples, Florida, and is an avid golfer. Pinky has been an agent for more than a decade and is a sought-after real estate marketing trainer and speaker. She’s been featured in numerous news articles and segments.

To search homes for sale on our website:

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